Key takeaways from AWS Summit

Decoration image

Roberta Main-Millar, Senior Account Director

I’m writing this a few weeks on from attending the mega tech event that is AWS Summit in London – and there was so much going on, I feel like I needed time to process it all. 

I attended with two hats on – one as a tech enthusiast and the other as a creative PR professional. I’ve split my thoughts below – the first reflecting on the tech trends I saw and the second my learnings on making a splash at an event.    

First, the tech 

I genuinely believe the show would have been very different, even if it had only happened six months ago. The main thing that hit me as I walked the floor is just how far tech has come in such a short time and the impact development in AI, machine learning and automation is having on every aspect of business. My key takeaways are: 

GenAI requires a tailored approach 

There are a lot of businesses that popped up to solve issues of visibility, control and security around Generative AI (GenAI). Organisations using GenAI have a massive challenge in this space from understanding who is using GenAI, how they are using it and what data they are feeding it.  

It reminds me of the ‘grey tech’ issue businesses first had when smart devices became common place and organisations were worried about data leaks from people accessing their work information on personal devices (which could then get lost).  

The main solution seems to be internal GenAI tools that are bespoke to a business and secure environments separating what sort of data can be accessed by the system. 

AI can help with the data deluge 

Businesses have more access to data, but it is a struggle to know what to do with it all. As the potential for data for competitive insights increases, the capabilities for systems to process it and return results, in real time, are stretched.  

The key phrases in this area were: “scalable solutions”, “good quality data” and “organised data”. Essentially, AI being able to easily filter through the masses of data will give a competitive edge and shave vital seconds off returning results. 

Don’t wait too long to adopt 

The quandary of when to invest and what to invest in. It’s clear that all businesses largely accept they will be using AI in some capacity, but there are two clear camps on strategy. The first is the front leader, which aims to get a first mover advantage by investing in automation and digital transformation early and broadly.  

The upside is they will get a jump on competitors, but the downside is, with the tech developing so rapidly, their system might not be as efficient as those who invested later (and possibly at a lower price point). On the flipside, those later adopters don’t get the initial benefit of being a first mover and learning as they go, but they do have the benefit of seeing where tech can really have an impact and learn from the early adopters’ mistakes as well as their wins.  

The key takeaway here is don’t wait too long to invest in tech, but make sure to properly understand how it will be used and that it makes a viable return on investment before taking the leap. 

Now, the PR... 

The second part of my takeaway was around the effectiveness of the show, as a PR professional. It is a huge event and run extremely efficiently (although I did get there a bit later in the day so avoided the long queues to pick up my pass). Some cool things I spotted gave me inspiration for future event exhibitor tactics. 

These include: 

Gamification to capture the audience 

There were more claw machines on display than the arcade on Brighton Pier, but they were extremely effective! Instead of giving away merch, a lot of brands used claw machines that you had to scan your badge to use and win a cuddly toy or – surprisingly popular – branded socks. Not only do they get contacts scanning, people queue up to take their turn, providing a great opportunity for those manning the stand to have a chat to prospects about their potential needs. 

Deliver a unique experience 

If you went, you’ll remember The Slide, which I believe was sponsored by Snowflake. The halls are on split levels and to get from the large sponsors area down to the Partners area, you could take the stairs, or you could take the tube slide into a ball pit and get a (presumably branded) photo keepsake. On a day where you’re getting a lot of information a bit of fun and silliness with colleagues proved very popular and again offered a chance to get in front of people who may not have visited the stand.  

Collaboration to drive footfall 

There was a “Programme Passport” that had several stands listed on it. As you went through the day, you could get the stands to stamp your card when you visited. A full card could then be exchanged for a food item. I saw a lot of people doing the “food trail” and a lot of the staffers on the stands were able to get their elevator pitch over before providing the stamp. If nothing else, it increased brand and stand location awareness. 

Silent lectures 

These were brilliant, and something I’ve been seeing more of. They work like a silent disco, with all attendees being issued headphones. It means the audience can all hear the presenter well and the people not attending aren’t disturbed by the open-air talks that are going on. 

Lego, Lego, and more Lego 

Finally, tech audiences love Lego. That is pretty self-explanatory, but clutching a Lego set that had been won was like wearing a badge of honour walking around the exhibition. It does tie into a trend I saw though; on-stand raffles to win spot prizes (with the star prize 9/10 times being Lego). Again, a great lead gen tactic, badges were scanned to receive raffle tickets and drawn after a quick elevator pitch. A cost-effective way of drumming up some excitement on the stand and created a buzz. 

Missive is an integrated communications consultancy with deep tech sector specialisms built from years of industry experience. We work with some of the UK’s most innovative brands to deliver measurable business impact through integrated PR & Comms.   

Read more about how we helped connectivity provider Pharrowtech launch its new solution at industry event MWC.  

If you would like to talk to Missive about support at an event, or if your business works in one of the exciting areas we saw at AWS Summit, get in touch to discuss how we could work together. 

Roberta at AWS Summit

We are Missive

Contact us